COVID-19: What you need to know for August 26

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Aug 26, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 678 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 561,975 since the pandemic began; 302 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 165 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 89 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,472 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 4 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 10 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 9 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,793 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 38,932 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 20,605,405 since December 2020. 916,087 people have received only one dose, and 9,844,659 people have received both doses. 82.53 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 75.51 per cent have received their second.
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JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to August 25 data, Toronto reported 163 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a total of 173,458 since the pandemic began; 50 of them are in hospital (16 new). In total, 3,619 people have died (zero new). 
  • Lawrence Loh, Peel region's medical officer of health said he “strongly recommends” employees to review their COVID safety plan to determine if “workplace risks could be reduced by implementing a proof of vaccination immunization policy for your staff,” reports the Brampton Guardian. 
  • The Hamilton Spectator asked two doctors a series of questions about going back to school safely as the fourth surge of COVID-19 continues. The paper also reported on airflow in schools, breaking down which ones have supply, return and exhaust systems, which just have supply and exhaust, and which have no mechanical ventilation. Schools without will have portable HEPA filters in classrooms and learning spaces to help filter viral particles out of the air.
  • Hamilton police will require uniformed and civilian staff to share if they're vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 4. CBC Hamilton reports that anyone who does not have a shot or exemption will have to provide a negative test for the virus before the first shift of each of their rotations.
  • The St. Catharines Standard reports that in the last four weeks, public health data shows the average number of daily new cases excluding outbreaks (12.3 for the week that ended Saturday) was four times higher than the last week in July. Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji says "partly vaccinated people were about four times more likely to get COVID-19 in the last four weeks, and unvaccinated people were eight times more likely." Hirji says he would support a government document verifying vaccination, saying there's an opportunity to restrict unvaccinated people from certain activities and keep businesses and amenities open. About 65 per cent of all people in Niagara are fully vaccinated. Of those 12 and older, about 73 per cent are. A COVID-19 vaccination policy is in the works for public health staff.

​​​​​​​Indigenous

  • As of August 17, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 731,313 doses have been administered, of that 318,933 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of August 24, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 686 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 391 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 2,974 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Paul Roumeliotis, the president of the Association of Local Public Health Agencies and chief medical officer of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, says that some form of vaccine passport or certificate is inevitable in Ontario and that while a province-wide approach would be best, in the absence of provincial direction, a regional program could be used, the Ottawa Citizen reports. (On Thursday, CTV News reported that the province’s health units have decided to create their own regional passports if the province does not create a provincial system.)
  • Ottawa’s associate medical officer of health, Brent Moloughney, said Wednesday that the city’s shared border with Quebec makes the prospect of a vaccination certification system especially useful, as Quebec is preparing to launch its own vaccine passport, Global News reports.
  • In an announcement, Wednesday, the City of Ottawa laid out how vulnerable groups will be able to access a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccination. For people outside long-term care homes, they must get a letter from their medical team and bring it to any city clinic, if two months have passed since their second shot, CBC News reports.

Northern 

  • Algoma Public Health is reporting five new cases. Two are from north Algoma, two are from central and east Algoma and one is from Sault Ste. Marie. There are 16 active cases in the region.
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts advises of two low-risk public health exposures. The first is on the GOVA bus Route 1 Main Line on August 21 between 8:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m, and at the Rhythm ‘n Cues pool hall on August 20 between 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • CBC Sudbury reports that a contact tracing app created by Sault Ste. Marie health care professionals is being used by the city. CommunityPass is an app where businesses and organizations can screen users entering its facilities, and is currently being used in City of Sault Ste. Marie buildings.
  • The North Bay Nugget reports that North Bay area schools will not have additional public health measures for COVID-19. The Nugget says school boards such as the Toronto District School Board and Ottawa Carleton District School board are considering additional measures that go beyond provincial regulations and guidelines.
  • The Porcupine Health Unit says third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available for people who are immunocompromised or elderly and living in high-risk congregate settings.

Southwestern

  • Western University and its affiliated colleges are strengthening their COVID-19 protocols ahead of the start of the school year, eliminating the option of regular testing for students and staff “who simply choose not to be vaccinated,” reports the London Free Press. Now, only individuals with a medical or Ontario Human Rights Code exemption will be eligible for twice-a-week testing in lieu of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens announced the WEVaxToWin lottery, offering thousands of dollars in prizes in the hopes of boosting local vaccination rates, reports the Windsor Star. The region is lagging in the number of fully vaccinated individuals and “leading the province” in positivity rates, said Essex County Warden, Gary McNamara.


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